Yoga for Anxiety

As many of my followers know, the catalyst for my own wellness journey was my battles with anxiety and panic attacks. I was delighted to be asked by an old friend to partner up with him when he released his new book ‘For help with Anxiety’, to write for his blog.

My first post is titled ‘Yoga for Anxiety’, check it out on the link below –

https://www.forhelpwithanxiety.com/yoga-for-anxiety

To correspond with my article i decided now would be a great time to also publish a hatha yoga for anxiety practice that i had been working on. With more people staying at  home than ever before anxiety levels are high, i made sure this practice was simple but effective, making it accessible for everyone.

By sharing our own struggles and experiences with anxiety, we can show others that they are not alone, and more importantly – that it gets better !

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Positive Emotions.

During my coaching training we completed modules on positive psychology. Standard psychology = broken people need fixing. Positive psychology = focusing on the positive aspects of human life and how to enhance them. The world definitely has a need for both but 2020 has highlighted to me so far that there is a special need for positive psychology in the general population at the moment. So far this year has been scary to say the least, a lot has happened, a lot IS happening and it is easy to get sucked into a downward spiral of worry and fear. 

Broaden and build theory suggests that emotions are very functional. Where negative emotions serve a purpose by limiting our thoughts and behaviours allowing us to act more decidedly in times of stress, positive emotions broaden and build our conscious awareness. When you are in a bad mood, you are very closed off & stuck in negative thought patterns. When you are in a good mood you are more curious, sociable, creative & healthier. You become better at problem solving and are able to persevere longer at tougher tasks. More importantly right now, your immune system works better!

On a personal level, we should be looking to nourish and increase positive emotions in order to get the above benefits, but also on a company level. For any business, big or small, i fully believe in the importance of looking after the mental health and overall well-being of your employees. In coaching we look at each person as a whole. We understand that in order to feel satisfied, fulfilled and happy, one must have balance in key areas of their life. If one of your team members is not performing well, instead of focusing on their current lack of achievement, have you thought about the possibility of something outside of work that might be affecting their performance? If they feel unfulfilled in life, the negative feelings and thoughts will seep through in to their work life. If they are having trouble at home, or if they are having health issues, the same thing will happen. When our lives feel balanced and fulfilled, we can increase positive emotions and in turn improve our lives even more creating an upward spiral.

A meta analysis study by Lyubomirsky, King & Diener in 2005 on positive emotions shows that positive emotions have the following results within a company – 

  • Lower turnover at work.
  • Better reports of customer service.
  • Better supervision evaluations.
  • Lower emotional exhaustion.
  • Higher job satisfaction.
  • Better organisational citizenship behaviour.
  • Fewer work absences.
  • More social club involvement.
  • More volunteerism.
  • Perceived by others as being friendlier more assertive and more confident,
  • Higher annual salaries,
  • Higher longevity.
  • Lower incidence of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Faster recovery from illness or injury.
  • More likely to resolve conflict through collaboration.
  • Increased motivation.
  • Better decision making efficiency.

I have just provided you 17 good reasons to work on interventions to help increase positive emotions in yourself and in your employees.

Business hats to one side though, couldn’t we all use a little more of this? I know my anxiety has started to creep up on me the past few weeks and with the current COVID-19 pandemic i know i can’t be the only one. From the fires across Australia devastating the native wildlife, to multiple deaths & tragedies, now countries going in to lock down due to the coronavirus, what a year so far. I think of myself as a very positive and open minded person and i tend not to get worried or sucked in to things that we have no control over, but even so i can’t help but feel overwhelmed at how the year has started. 

So this post is just as much for me as it is for you. Whether you apply this just to yourself, or if you are in a position where you can apply this to your company and employees, let’s look at some interventions to increase positivity and get ourselves into that upwards spiral.

We’ve all heard of ‘name 3 things your grateful for’, right? I want to take it a step further. 

Although studies show that naming 3 things your grateful for each day does in fact increase positivity, they also show that people tend not to stick to the practice after the study has ended. It just doesn’t feel worthwhile enough for people to continue long term. In coaching, we focus on creating long lasting habits so i’m going to suggest gratitude to you, but in a slightly different format. 

At the end of each day, instead of naming 3 things your grateful for, i want you to think about it in a bit more detail. Keep a journal of this and ask yourself questions that focus on the positives such as – 

  • Who supported me today?
  • What were today’s successes?
  • What did i do well today?
  • What did others do well today?
  • What was the highlight of my day?

Keep this up for at least 1 month, it should only take a few minutes each night, you will be surprised at how much you notice. Make sure to leave your journal somewhere you will see it each night so that you don’t forget. It might also be helpful to think of a trigger such as brushing your teeth before bed or getting changed in to your PJ’s, so you know when i get changed in to my PJ’s each night i will take a few minutes to write my journal. This is a great way to integrate it into your routine and form a new habit. 

If you are in a business environment, you could also do this as a team at the end of each work day. Ask your team to reflect on these questions and write them down, either individually or as a group. 

This is such a small step and will only take a few minutes each day, you have read the amazing effects of increasing positive emotions, we could all use a little boost right now i’m sure, so let’s all do this together. Let’s start today!

 

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References – 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/positive-psychology

Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching – Robert Biswas-Diener.

 

 

1 year Cancer free.

It has been exactly 1 year since I got the all clear and what an amazing year it has been. I completed my coaching diploma, started my yoga teacher training course and most importantly I completely transformed in so many ways.

It’s amazing how when you get a life changing diagnosis every other worry you had becomes obsolete. That person in work who annoys you. That project your behind on. Any conflict with your significant other. Money worries. Self limiting beliefs. Everything else just disappears and you suddenly realise how it wasn’t really important in the first place. Suddenly you realise that the only thing that ever mattered was your health.

This is something that has really changed my perspective on the world. In the years leading up to this I suffered with auto-immunity and arthritis so I already knew that if your suffering with a chronic condition and with chronic pain it takes over completely and can be so hard to get into the right headspace to break free from the cage of being trapped within your condition. Being diagnosed with cancer allowed me to break free from that cycle.

From the date of my first surgery, through my diagnosis, getting the all clear, getting the ‘not actually all clear’, to a second surgery and the final all clear it all happened so fast and was such a whirlwind experience. I can’t even begin to put in to words the pain and deep soul felt sobs that happened during that time. Every single second of every day I was praying to God to heal me of this and visualising the outcome that I wanted and thanking him for all of the blessings in my life so far. I realised during this time of uncertainty that the things that would usually bother me suddenly didn’t bother me any more. In work, at home, in general – if something happened that would usually cause me to get stressed out, I just accepted it and moved on, it didn’t matter.

After getting the all clear this shift in perspective really stayed with me and because of this I began a complete transformation into a happier, healthier and more free version of myself. I realised the things that truly matter and let the things go that didn’t. Of course i’m only human and slip back in to worry and anxious thoughts from time to time, don’t we all? But i’m very quick to recognise it now and bring myself back in to a more positive and uplifting mindset. This change in mindset not only helped me achieve freedom from anxiety and my self limiting beliefs, but on a physical level I feel better than I have done in years. I actually forget some days that I have an autoimmune disease at all, i’m too busy loving every minute of life and thanking God that I am healthy enough to live it. I still suffer with chronic pain but I am no longer consumed by it. I still have an autoimmune disease but the autoimmune disease no longer has me.

This past year has been amazing for me and I know that this is just the beginning. I have always wanted to help people become better versions of themselves and help them to improve their mental, physical & spiritual wellbeing. After living and breathing such a transformation myself I now know that the rest of my life will be devoted to helping others achieve the same kind of freedom in any way that they need it. I am here to serve.

Books read 2019.

I’m not really into setting new years ‘resolutions’ or the whole ‘new year new me’. As a life coach, yogini and spiritual devotee self development is an important part of my daily life and therefor i constantly revisit / reevaluate & make changes to my current habits and goals throughout the year wherever i see fit and would encourage others to do the same.

I do however love to set ‘things i would like to do’ for the coming year, set intentions or set myself some goals.

For 2019 i decided that i would like to read more books. When i was younger i would read constantly, my parents would often come up to my bedroom to check on me and i would just be lying there reading for 12 hours straight enchanted by the stories and depth of my favourite books. The past few years i have found myself reading less and less with the excuse of being too busy or having more important priorities. So I decided in 2019 to read at least 2 books per month.

I ended up reading 32 books in total so managed to read more than my target. The books i chose were a real mixture of novels, science, spiritual, knowledge & learning and i feel like I gained so much from reading again. I really fell back in love with reading and i know that i don’t even have to set that as a goal again for 2020 as it has now become such an important part of my routine taking the time to read that i will continue to read just as much in 2020 and after.

I thought it would be nice to share the books i read as they all were so important to me in one way or another i want to spread the word !

I have scored the books with a rating out of 10, of course this is just my personal opinion and is based on my own preferences, how much i enjoyed the book & how much i gained from it.

Sapiens – Yuvah Noal Harari – 8/10

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz – 8/10

Siddhartha – Herman Hesse – 8/10

A Guide to your Chakras –  Anodea Judith – 6/10

The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz – 8/10

Tantra – Shashi Solluna – 6/10

Why we Sleep – Matthew Walker – 10/10

You are the Placebo – Joe Dispenza – 10/10

The 49th Mystic – Ted Dekker – 10/10

Inner Engineering, A Yogi’s Guide to Joy – Sadhguru – 7/10

Rise of the Mystics – Ted Dekker – 9/10

Waking Up – Sam Harris – 8/10

The Bhagavad Gita – Eknath Easwaran – 10/10

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne – 8/10

Own Your Day Own Your Life – Aubrey Marcus – 7/10

Cant Hurt Me – David Goggins – 10/10

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman – 6/10

Red Dragon – Thomas Harris – 7/10

21 lessons for the 21st century – Yuval Noah Harari – 6/10

Accelerated Learning – Dale Clear – 7/10

Travelers in the Third Reich – Julia Boyd – 7/10

Coaching for Performance – Sir John Whitmore – 8/10

Co-active Coaching – Fourth Edition – 6/10

The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris – 8/10

American Sniper – Chris Kyle – 7/10

The Forgotten Way Meditations – Ted Dekker – 5/10

8 Limbs of Yoga – Yogani – 6/10

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Patanjali – 9/10

The Untethered Soul – Michael Singer – 7/10

Be Here Now – Ram Dass – 10/10

The Yamas & Niyamas – Deborah Adele 9/10

Walking Each Other Home – Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush – 9/10

Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahansa Yogananda – 10/10

How to take back your power, reclaiming your energy.

Boundaries is a repeated theme that seems to be coming up in all areas of my life at the moment. Okay universe, I hear ya. I’ve been seeing’s posts on social media, noticing this coming up in shows I am watching, in podcasts I am listening to, mentioned in books I am reading. The final kicker was boundaries coming up as a main focus on one of the modules i am studying at college.

My course includes a lot of time for self development & reflection. With every module, or every new tool learned, I learn more about myself and revisit things I thought I once knew to see if this new information changes my perception in any way.  Discussing the topic of boundaries with my peers this week really allowed me to dig deep and check in with myself.

What am I tolerating?

What is frustrating me right now?

What boundaries am I setting?

Well it turns out i am tolerating a lot of shit that doesn’t match my energy or my values. I’m frustrated that my energy is low and I don’t have enough time for me, to look after myself and just relax. All because I am NOT setting enough boundaries.

This isnt just in one area of my life but actually in a few different areas. I got into a lot of specifics when hashing this out and ‘coaching’ myself and ended up making a list of boundaries that need to be set in work & in my relationships. Even making this list and seeing it down on paper was really empowering. In such a short space of time I identified what exactly was taking my energy, how I was allowing this to happen & what i was going to do about it.

Setting boundaries is THE most direct and effective way to take back your power, to reclaim your energy. 

Setting boundaries is never easy, it may feel uncomfortable at first & it may ruffle some feathers BUT if the people around you respect & care about you, they will respect your needs. Remember, it’s not just about setting boundaries, that is the first step. The hardest part is reinforcing those boundaries whenever somebody tries to cross them, not tolerating or allowing somebody to cross that line. Checking in with yourself from time to time to honestly ask ‘is this boundary still serving me?’, ‘am I enforcing this boundary firmly enough?’, ‘do I need to set any more boundaries?’.

If your energy is low, your feeling drained and worn out, try this below exercise –

  1. Make a list of your current frustrations.
  2. Make a list of anything that your tolerating right now that could be causing these frustrations.
  3. Now list the boundaries that you have already set. Chances are if your feeling this way, you arent setting any boundaries, your boundaries aren’t strong enough, or your not enforcing them!
  4. Now, based on the above list, starting listing some boundaries that will help you take back control of the situation. That may mean saying no to overtime at work, saying no to social events so you can have some me time, setting expectations with a friend or colleague about how you expect to be treated going forward. This is your list so you will know based on your current frustrations and tolerations what boundaries you need.
  5. Let anyone involved know what your boundaries are and set expectations. If you feel like it, you can explain to them why this is necessary, or not – don’t feel like you need to explain unless you really want to.
  6. Reinforce those boundaries whenever necessary, if anyone tries to cross them remind them of the discussion you have & be firm.
  7. Check in with yourself from time to time and reflect on your boundaries – are you enforcing them correctly? – are they still serving you? – do you need to set any more?
  8. Enjoy your reclaimed energy and power, you are amazing !

 

I find this excercise incredibly effective and I hope you do to. This is my own method that i would use with clients in coaching sessions to help them reclaim their energy but it is also a useful tool to use on myself time and time again. I’m only human, we all need to check in with ourselves from time to time and get some clarity on certain aspects of our lives.

Good luck with reclaiming your power and if you feel like sharing I would love to know how you found this exercise.

What is self care and why do we need reminders?

Self care seems to be becoming a bit of a trend at the moment & this is one trend i am 100% on board with. One thing i have noticed though is that i see a lot of self care hashtags and promotion, but not a lot of information or detail explaining why self care is so important, or why some people struggle with self care.

Self care is something that has to be learned and is not an ‘automatic instinct’ like one might think. Your self care habits are often learned from adults in your family growing up and this can cause quite a lot of issues. If you are coming from an abusive household, self care will be so far down on your list of priorities that it could even be completely non existent. By abusive i don’t just mean physical abuse, i also refer to neglect, mental abuse, emotional abuse, manipulation, narcissistic abuse and all other types. Some people might not even be aware that they have suffered abuse, it can be so subtle and sneaky that many adult children of abusive families will suffer without ever realising why or without ever realising that what happened to them was wrong. This can also happen as an adult in abusive / codependent relationships. When in an abusive relationship often the abused will be trying so hard to keep the other person happy or to meet their partners needs that they will completely forget about their own self care and eventually end up a broken shell of the person they once where.

But lack of self care doesn’t always come from this. There are many people who come from happy households, have loving families & have never been in an abusive relationship, but they also struggle with self care. Maybe their loving parents were working long hours throughout their childhood to support them, but this left little room for support growing up and little time to observe and learn about SC. Maybe they are motivated and want to do well in work and progress their career, so they think that by focusing all of their time and energy on education and work they will improve their lives and get that job position they have always wanted. Maybe they have low self esteem and so SC is not something they actually care about.

To some people this might come so naturally that when they see ‘self care’ posts, or ‘tips on self care’ articles they might wonder, why would anyone need tips on that? But the truth is that it does not come naturally to us all & there are many different reasons why one might struggle with SC.

I myself struggled a lot with SC up until the age of 22/23 when i ended up in counselling and psychotherapy for other reasons. I genuinely didn’t know that SC was an issue for me until i’m sat in the chair face to face with my therapist and she asks me ‘what have you done for yourself this week?’. Well i didn’t know what to say or how to answer her. I didn’t even really know what she was asking me. We talked and talked and she was asking me a lot of questions like ‘when was the last time you pampered yourself, when was the last time you had a massage, when was the last time you had a hot bath and read a book, when was the last time you had your hair done, when was the last time you had a girls night or a movie night, when was the last time you cooked yourself a really nice meal, what’s your daily routine like?’ Most importantly.. and this is the one that changed my life in a massive way was she asked me ‘when was the last time you said no?’

Try this little exercise –

Step 1 – Fold an A4 piece of paper in half length ways. On the left side, make a list of all of the things you have done for others this week. Such as, giving somebody a lift, helping a colleague with a difficult task, collecting something for your partner on your way home, helping get your younger siblings ready and off to school, a few hours overtime to help out at work. Anything at all that you have done for others, add it to your list.

Step 2 – Now on the right side of the paper, i want you to make a list of all of the things you have done for yourself this week. Such as, a hot bubble bath with candles, saying no to working late because you were tired, asking for help with something if you need it, cooking your favourite meal instead of everyone else’s favourite meals, trying out a face mask and soaking your feet, reading a novel.

Step 3 – Now compare both sides of the paper. Are they even? Remember that although it is important to help others when you can & it feels nice to give and to do things for your loved ones. It is is even more important to help yourself & to ask for help if you need it. Let others do things for you sometimes, but most of all do nice things for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so ensure that your own cup is full before doing things for others so that your not left running on empty. Find a good balance between giving to others & also letting them return the favour and give/help you.

Self care doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes self care can be ‘treating yourself’ but sometimes self care can be the simple daily things that we sometimes forget to do when we are feeling down, such as washing our hair or drinking water.

See below my go to list of self care options/reminders, let me know if you have any other ideas that i can add to the list –

  • Hot bubble bath with salts & essential oils.
  • Epsom salt foot soak.
  • Clay face mask & skin care routine.
  • Say NO to things you do not want.
  • Switch your phone off and stay off social media.
  • Read a good book (not a self help book – get lost in a novel).
  • Buying fresh socks & pyjamas.
  • Have a hot chocolate with cream.
  • Cook your favourite meal.
  • Meal prep.
  • Ask for help !
  • Put some music on, sing, dance & be playful.
  • A walk in nature.
  • Go to bed early. SLEEP is the best medicine.
  • Meditate.
  • Yoga.
  • Talk to someone. A friend, a colleague, a pet, a therapist.
  • Write / journal. There’s nothing better than getting it all off your chest.
  • Floatation therapy. This one is my absolute favourite.
  • A cup of herbal tea. Drink it mindfully.
  • Watch your favourite childhood movie.
  • Pamper yourself at home.
  • Get a massage.
  • Wash your hair, cut your nails, moisturise your body.
  • Put some music on and do your chores / clean. This sounds like a weird one, but for me personally i always feel great when everything is clean and tidy and the chores are finished. However if you are already worn out and drained, the chores can wait.
  • Reassess your priorities.
  • Throw out that ‘to do list’.
  • Go to the gym or exercise at home.
  • Drink water.
  • Breathe. Take a few mindful deep breathes, practice some pranayama.
  • Get a reiki treatment, or even try taking the reiki level one course so you can give yourself reiki.
  • Watch or listen to something funny (The Ricky Gervais Podcast is my go-to).
  • Take yourself for a nice day out / meal / or weekend trip.

There are so many ways to practice self care and a lot of people won’t need a list or reminders. I need them. I often get caught up in work / my career & doing things for others and forget to take time out for me. So this post is for you, whoever needs it, but also a little reminder for me so i can check back regularly and make sure i am ticking a few things off this list. Now take some time out and celebrate you, you deserve it.

 

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Archery

I’m so late writing this post, it was almost 6 weeks ago now we went and did Archery and we are planning to go again some time very soon.

We were away for Easter weekend at Carton House hotel in Maynooth and were looking through the brochure of activities the hotel gave us and were trying to pick one. We were thinking about booking in at the Golf range on site at the hotel, when in Rome, but i remembered doing Archery as a child in first school and having the most amazing time. Our class went on a weekend trip to High Borrans in the lake district (any Northern English child will remember this place) and one activity over the weekend was archery, along with orienteering, canoeing, bouldering and other fun stuff. My super competitive streak came out and i ended up winning most of the awards over the weekend, from then on my school teachers called me mighty mouse (proud moment). Out of all the activities that weekend i very vividly remember the Archery competitions and how much fun we had, so i chose Archery for our day out at Carton House as well.

We booked in for Archery at Abbeyfield farm and equestrian Centre in Kildare for only 30 euros each & it was worth every penny ! It was so sunny out we picked the perfect day for it & we were the only two people booked in at that time for archery so we had the place to ourselves. The guy who met us & talked us through everything was so sound, he would watch us shooting an arrow and give us little tips or tweaks to help us make improvements. Then once he decided we were getting the hang of it and making some good shots he left us to our own devices for a while and just let us keep going and practicing. It was so much fun and we were much better at it than I expected us to be.

After a while of us practicing he came back and got a few competitions going between me and Stuey which really added to the whole thing and got us hyped up and laughing. One of the competitions was to hit the balloons he had pinned to your target before the other person hit theirs. Another one was to try and get one arrow in each colour/circle before the other person did. The last one was to see who could get the most points in 60 seconds.

As soon as we left we were already saying let’s book in to come back very soon, we both thoroughly enjoyed it & for 30 euros each it was definitely worth the price. We’ll go back again to do archery next time & then maybe the time after that we will try the clay pigeon shooting as that also looked super fun. Basically… take my money we will be back.. a lot !

This would be such a great day out for friends, couples, families, team building, basically for everyone. Let me know if you go and try it out or if you have been before.

Reiki Cleanse – Day 7.

For my 21 day reiki cleanse i decided to focus on clearing and balancing my chakras. Starting from the root chakra on day one and working my way up through them, one a day for 7 days. I will repeat this cycle 3x over to bring it to 21 days.

I have just finished my first week which means that each one of my chakras has had it’s very own reiki session dedicated to it. Today is day 8 which means i will be starting the cycle all over again, but first i’m going to talk you through week 1.

Day 1 – Muladhara – Root Chakra.

Affirmation used – I am safe. I started off this reiki session with 6 minutes directly focused on my root chakra, as well channelling the reiki energy into my chakra i used visualisations of white light flowing into the swirling wheel of red to heal and balance the energies. I then let my intuition guide me to where my energetic body needed the most care and spent a further 18 minutes working on various areas of the head and neck. I finished off with a final 3 minutes back on my root chakra and this time visualised my chakra as a red flower opening up to let the healing light in.

Day 2 – Svadhishthana – Sacral Chakra.

Affirmation used – I am enough. I started this session by directing the reiki energy directly into my sacral Chakra. Again i complimented the reiki energy with a visualisation, this time of healing white light flowing into the orange chakra centre. 3 minutes to start off with and then again my intuition guided me to the head, neck and upper back. I moved back and forth between the head and my sacral chakra twice over until i had completed 21 minutes in total, 9 of those minutes directly working on the chakra. For the last 3 minutes i visualised my chakra as being a bright orange flower opening up to welcome the reiki energy and healing light.

Day 3 – Manipura – Solar Plexus Chakra

Affirmation used – I am strong and courageous. As soon as i started this session i could feel a lot of very dense energy around the chakra centre. I worked on the chakra centre directly for 6 minutes whilst also visualising healing light entering the yellow spinning wheel of energy. The yellow i could see in my minds eye was murky and reflected the dense energy i could feel while scanning the area, so i focused on clearing and brightening the energy using the reiki and healing lights. I worked for 6 minutes on the head after this, but only briefly, then returned to chakra for the final 3 minutes again while visualising the bright yellow flower opening up at the end. Notice a pattern here? I think visualising the chakra as a flower accepting the light is such a beautiful way to finish off any visualisation or reiki cleanse focused on chakras, maybe try it out and see if this works for you?

Day 4 – Anahata – Heart Chakra

Affirmation – Love is the purpose of my life. I have always had a very open heart chakra so straight away the energies felt clear here and the green energy centre was flowing nicely. I still started off with 3 minutes directly on the heart chakra and then my intuition guided me back down to the root chakra for 6 minutes. I then let the reiki work on my elbows and hips for 6 minutes each as my arthritis was really playing up and bothering me, but after the reiki on them the pain was definitely alleviated and i was focused more on what was good, rather than the pain itself. To finish off i went back to the heart chakra, using the same visualisation to finish off – the green flower opening up.

Day 5 – Vishuddha – Throat Chakra

Affirmation – I speak my own truth. Ahhh the throat chakra, i have done a lot of work on my throat chakra in recent years and it is something i am only now bringing in to balance, i still have a lot of work to do but i am definitely on my way. Speaking my truth or voicing my needs has always been difficult for me, i was taught at a young age to just keep quiet and although i always knew the truth, i often got in trouble for speaking it. As a result of this i suppressed my throat chakra and it took a massive shift in my life and a lot of inner child healing for me to finally learn to love my Vishuddha energy centre and my own voice. I worked between this chakra and areas of my head and neck, using the same types of visualisations as before.

Day 6 – Ajna – Third Eye Chakra

Affirmation – I trust my intuition. Since becoming attuned to reiki i have definitely felt more in touch with my intuition and spirit guides. I have had a very strong connection for the past 4 years but my reiki journey gave my intuitive abilities that extra boost and reconnected me on a very soul level. I felt a deep gratitude for this while working on my third eye chakra and could see both my energy centre and my third eye very clearly during this session. I used the same visualisations as previous and worked directly over the third eye chakra and on various other parts of the head and neck.

Day 7 – Sahasrara – Crown Chakra

Affirmation – I am one with all there is. As above with the Ajna Chakra, my reiki journey really reconnected me with the divine and my crown chakra. Life is a journey of remembering and forgetting who we are and even though my connection is becoming ever stronger, there are still moments where i drift or forget who i am. Working with reiki energy and the angels really helped to remind me that we are all one, we are source, we are god, we are love. Using the same visualisations as before and letting my intuition guide me, i started on my crown chakra and then went through a full body reiki session. This was such a relaxing session for me, i became so relaxed and peaceful that i took an hour nap directly after!

Overall all the first week of my reiki cleanse has been amazing. Working with each chakra at a time and having between 15-24 minutes a day of reiki has really boosted my mood and my attitude whilst simultaneously lowering my stress levels and most importantly – my pain levels ! I have been having a bit of a flare up with my arthritis at the moment so couldn’t possibly think of a better time to be doing this cleanse, this week has helped me so much with reducing the pain in my joints and neck that who knows, after the 21 day cleanse i might just carry on and let this become a part of my daily routine. Sitting down for just a few minutes a day with the intention to heal is really life changing, i am forever grateful for the gift of reiki.

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Carton House – The red route.

Last year when we went to Carton House for Easter i was extremely sick the full time we were there from my Arthritis medication. We decided to go back this year when we could really enjoy it.

They have two walking routes of the grounds and both are truly beautiful and so peaceful. This post is about the red route. We completed this route already last year but i could only walk a few steps at a time and was in a lot of pain so couldn’t enjoy it properly so we decided to do it again this year on Easter morning.

We got up early and after a gorgeous breakfast in the Linden Tree restaurant we went out for a morning stroll. The weather was perfect for it, the sun was beaming and warming, as it was still early morning it was a comfortable temperature and not too hot.

Coming through the golf house courtyard and under the archway you will see a little wooden sign post up ahead. If you take a left at the sign post and follow the path around it starts to take you on a gentle uphill walk through the golf course. As you get to the top of the hill you will see on the left a little white shack that has toilets in and a vending machine out front for some cold drinks or snacks which was very welcome on such a warm day!

We stopped off for drinks and then kept following the path along to Tyrconnel Tower. The tower was built by Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnel who was the viceroy between 1687 & 1689 and was actually born at Carton House. The tower, the trees, the freshly cut grass & the sunshine really made this walk one to remember, but i’ll let the pictures do the talking…

After the tower, the walk comes down towards some forest on the left hand side and if you keep walking that opens up to the river running through the grounds. We actually took a little detour off the red route here just to walk down to the river & the little bridge crossing. We were the only people in sight and it was so serene and quiet. It was actually at this point where i thought, You know what? This is why people play golf. Imagine waking up early and coming out on to a golf course as beautiful as this one. The T for this hole was up on the ridge beside the walking trail, and the hole was across the other side of the river and bridge, it was just the most beautiful and tranquil setting. I can imagine it to be almost like a meditation, being out in that setting in nature, nobody else around you, focusing on making the shot. The only sounds are the wind, the birds & your own breath. Maybe i’ll take up golf one day, who knows?

We made our way back on to the route and under the cover of some trees for the last part of the trail. I remember this part of the trail being very muddy last year but the weather wasn’t as good as it was this year. Still though there were muddy patches even though we had a very dry few days so i’d recommend wearing shoes you can easily wipe down just in case. The path winds slowly back down through the trees and then after after a few minutes comes out beside the lake and boathouse.

Fun fact about the lake at Carton House. Queen Victoria actually came to stay at Carton House, twice, many years ago. After her first visit, she had a dream that she was in a boat out on a lake at Carton House. There was no lake at Carton House during this time, so they actually built a lake especially for the Queen before her second visit, to make her dream come true.

This walk took us around hour to complete as we were really taking our time and just enjoying a gentle stroll around in the sunshine. It could be done in half an hour if you were walking at a regular pace as it the route is only 3km. If you only have time for one of the walking trails at Carton House i’d recommend making it this one, you won’t be disappointed.

Map of the walking trails from the Carton House brochure & website –

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